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Nihon Rinsho. 2009 Jul;67(7):1343-7.

[Clues to the exceptional longevity --morbiditiy and functional status of Tokyo-area centenarians].

[Article in Japanese]

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  • 1Division of Geriatric Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Keio University School of Medicine.


Recent studies documented that most centenarians were survivors with multiple comorbidities. We examined morbidities and physical and cognitive function of 302 Japanese centenarians living in Tokyo, and assessed the association between morbidities and functional status. Most centenarians have chronic diseases such as hypertension, heart disease, and stroke. Notably, the prevalence of diabetes mellitus was very low compared with middle-aged Japanese adults. Stroke and fracture were significantly associated with poorer physical and cognitive function. Higher blood pressure, higher serum total cholesterol concentration and higher serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentration were associated with better physical and cognitive function. It seems that the oldest-old might be less affected with conventional risk factors, such as hypertension and hypercholesterolemia, at least in terms of functional status. This phenomenon might be one of the "centenarian paradox".

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